Christ Episcopal ChurchOne Of Earliest, This Faith, In State
In the history of the Episcopalchurch of Illinois, Rushville stands pre-eminent as one of the first townsto establish a church of that denomination. Altho the diocese of Illinoiswas not organized until March 9, 1835, Christ Church parish, Rushville,was organized in February, 1834. At that time there were only three orfour other Episcopal churches in the state of Illinois, and when BishopChase, the first bishop of Illinois, made his visitation to the state,Rushville was included in his itinerary.
Little is known of the earlyhistory of the church in Rushville, but it is a matter of record that achurch was erected, and on March 19, 1837, was consecrated. There is addedinterest in the local history of the church for the reason that the annualconvention of the diocese of Illinois was held in Rushville, June 4 and5, 1838, and again in 1842. In the latter year, church records reveal thatthere were but 491 communicants in the entire state.
It is impossible to reviewthe early history of this church, for all of the older members have longsince passed away. As early as 1840 the church maintained its own building,and Rev. Robert J. Walker served the parishes of Rushville and Beardstown,giving alternate Sundays to each. He was succeeded by Rev. Clotworthy,who remained for a few years, and after the year 1850 regular servicesceased and the building reverted to the donors. About the year 1898, Rushvillewas made a station in the missionary field, and regular services were heldevery fortnight in a mission room which had been fitted up for the localcongregation.
For many years Rev. B. E.Diggs of Peoria made regular trips to Rushville to conduct services ina room up over what is now the Rowland & Sons store. This locationwas used as a meeting place until 1910, when the new church was dedicatedat its present location on West Washington street.
This church was given tothe small congregation by Miss Virginia Scripps, who let a contract forsame in July, 1909, George A. Whitson being the general contractor. Oaktimbers from a dismantled barn on the old Scripps homestead farm (thatis now Scripps park) were used in construction of this church, which is26x42 feet in dimensions, of mission style, and with stucco exterior finish.
The building given by MissScripps in memory of her parents, who were originally members of the Episcopalianfaith, was consecrated on May 29, 1910, by Bishop Edward Fawcett of Quincy.
Shortly after completionof this church, Rev. J. M. D. Davidson of Macomb was assigned in chargeof this parish, and he held services regularly for a number of years. Hewas followed by two resident pastors, Rev. Stephen Gardiner and Rev. H.A. Burgess. When the latter retired, Father J. K. Putt of Griggsville wasassigned here as non-resident pastor, and he has been coming here at irregularintervals for about eight years.
The Rushville Times,October 7, 1948
The Rushville Timesby permission.
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